The benefits of a north-east wind

January 29, 2011

So, a nor-easterly wind brings with it a return of the dry cold that had temporarily moved away. This wind seems to cause more grumblings than any other prevailing direction. But in Brampton there are hidden benefits. Not only a crystal clear night sky but the return of that very rare commodity, silence.

Real silence is rarely encountered in Norfolk. There may be times in the depths of Thetford Forest . or as I found recently, in the late evening inside Norwich Cathedral, but in truth the all-pervading background hum of traffic or aircraft is always there. Or so it seems.

In Brampton the background hum of traffic sneaks over the railway line and invades the village form the south and west. The sound of tyres on the Aylsham bypass itself appears to get louder every year. But give us a good settled north- east airstream from the coast and we seem to get close to silence or at least to a human scale.

This morning the railway cutting was wreathed in silence. The shuffling of a rabbit broke the atmosphere, as did the flap of a Jay’s wings. Silence allows such concentration. The last shoot of the season brought a refreshing human scale to the sound-scape; calls and shouts and the barks of gundogs drifted on the breeze in much the same way as the noise of field workers must have done when the village was their world.

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